Wednesday, August 27, 2008

English Roadtrip - July 2008 - The Everything-Go-Wrong Tour

All right, it would never be possible for such a lovely vacation to have gone off perfectly without a hitch, would it now? So here we have the "Everything Go Wrong Tour (Day)". Thankfully, it was just one day that went perfectly wrong.

We stayed the night in Keyworth (my parents were with my mom's friend in Bingham), and because of transportation issues, I had to go and pick up my parents to bring them back to their car in Keyworth. i wasn't happy because that arrangement would cause us to be at least an hour late from our original plan.

I just add this picture here because I was wearing pink and black... the same colours that Alison wore that morning. To her credulity, I actually felt 'bothered' enough to change T-shirts so that we wouldn't wear the same colours. [Looking back, she was wearing a shade of purple anyway.] She teased that my sister didn't do her job to wean me from feeling uncomfortable about such a silly thing. I attribute this discomfort from a deeper seated psychological need to assert my uniqueness. So in the end, I changed to yellow. :p

When I left Keyworth, I noticed that my car temperature shot up to maximum after five minutes; in fact, the car was pretty hot for the previous day as well. So, when we get to Bingham, I popped the hood for my dad to check (since he knows these things). Well, the problem was simple... we have been overheating for the past two days. We proceeded to pour water into the tank, at the beginning it just guzzled it up because it was basically just converting to steam... evidently there was nothing in there, and it ate up a LOT of water.

We went on our way back to Keyworth (to pick up my aunts too) and they were not ready! In fact, their clothes were still being hung out to dry! They took some time to get ready and by then, I was rather upset at being about two hours late.

Along the way to York, the Indicator light came on. Since Alison expressed her (rightful) disappointment at me not being open about the temperature going up for the past two days, I told her this time about the Indicator light, and she checked the car manual as to what it meant. It said something like, "If the indicator warning light comes on, do not drive the car." Well OK then! I walkie-talkied my dad and my parents said something about electrical problems. We stop the car, my dad checks under the hood, and clearly at that time, the fan wasn't working, since the car was starting to heat up again. GREAT! I call Enterprise Rent-a-car, and they tell me to call AA (like the CAA). Clearly, I was not very happy at this point!! However, the rest of my family took it well and enjoyed the stop at McDonald's. :p

Thankfully, the AA guy came within 20 minutes, ran some tests, and confirmed that the car couldn't be driven. He rigged it to his van so we would be towed to the nearest Enterprise at Mansfield, where we would have a new car. Sigh. By now, all hopes to getting to Fountains Abbey (which would close at 5pm) AFTER going through York were shot. The black car below is our new car (MUCH better, actually), and we were finally on our way to York, 4 hours late!

At York - We arrived at 3:30pm, basically kind of in time to see the cathedral and nothing else, since many things close at 6pm. But I figure, since there was nowhere else to go until Durham, we may as well stay a little longer, enjoy the city and have dinner here. We parked in a car park and split up to spend the day, aiming to go back to the car park at 8pm. I was not happy, since Fountains Abbey was probably the main thing I wanted to see on this entire trip. So, instead of walking around, Alison and I went for a late lunch with a high tea set, and I cooled down a bit. Afterwards, we enjoyed the quaint town and part of evensong at York Minster, which was soothing prayer time that I very much needed.

We all kind of forgot where the carpark was located, since it was a little way off from York Minster and the old town centre. When we got there, the gate was completely shut and LOCKED! I was in total dismay... because I knew there would be absolutely no way of getting the car out (it was a National Car Park... run by a government agency). Sigh, so easily can we blame this as "typical UK", where car parks don't operate past 7:30pm.

Thankfully, my family took things really well and we set off to look for a place to stay in York. And also thankfully, Janey and Nabeel in London helped me with some online bookings, and we found a place to rest for the night.

What a disastrous day!

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